Planning for Success by Diana Ree-Reeder
Planning is one of the most important skills to a successful writing experience. It’s often overlooked and a student’s organization and motivation to write can suffer. While it’s easy to do this on paper using a variety of templates available, both commercially and teacher created, it can be challenging to do this digitally, especially for students who don’t like to stand out by using different software.
One way to use digital graphic organizers is by creating a table inside of the word processing program being used by all students. The table can be created with three columns and as many rows as sentences that are required. The prompts, or guide words, are placed inside the left column, planning is done in the middle column, and students are instructed to write one sentence inside the right column. This allows the students to only write their sentences once and to start on any concept they want. It also lets students know when they are done—because all of their boxes are filled! The built in spell checker can be used seamlessly as well. Students can remove their written work by highlighting the right column, copying it and using Paste Special to remove the table. Video examples can be found here for use with Google Docs https://tinyurl.com/lox34et and MS Word https://tinyurl.com/mymxyzv.